Modern ridesharing has only been around for about a decade, yet it offers a widespread, convenient alternative to public transport. In many cases, in fact, ridesharing is the only efficient mode of transportation for residents who don’t own cars in certain cities. But for all its perks, it does have a downside.
It doesn’t matter how many five-star rides a driver or passenger has had. There’s always a risk when taking a car ride with a stranger. From cases of crime, violence and currently even posing a risk of transmitting COVID, ridesharing can be dangerous. It’s more important than ever to protect yourself and understand the best ways to do so while ridesharing.
In this article, we cover recent rideshare crime stats, what companies are doing to make ridesharing safer, what you need to know about rideshare insurance, the best car insurance to stay protected as a driver, and safety precautions to take with every ride.
Let’s look at the statistics. The vast majority of rideshare drivers are male. According to Business Apps, only 27% of American Uber drivers in 2019 were female, an increase from 14% in 2015. However, usage among genders tends to be more split. A 2017 report by GlobalWebIndex found 48% of Uber’s American users were female.
In 2019, Uber released its first crime report, revealing there were 3,045 sexual assaults related to rides in the United States in 2018. Uber also reported there were 235 “Non-consensual sexual penetrations,” nine “fatal physical assaults,” and 58 crash-related deaths.
Lyft spokespeople told Wired magazine they are committed to working on a similar report, though none has been released yet at the time.
Criminologist John Roman believes factors like these contribute to ridesharing’s alarming crime rates:
- Rides are more common at “high crime times,” like weekend nights when riders are more likely to be intoxicated.
- The higher likelihood more women drive for a rideshare company than work as taxi drivers.
- There is no partition between the passenger and driver in the vast majority of rideshare ride options.
- Ridesharing’s employment model, with drivers working as independent contractors rather than full-time employees, may make drivers less likely to worry about losing their jobs if they commit a crime.
Despite the risks, ridesharing usage has shown no signs of slowing down.
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